All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Tuesday, 6 June 2006

The Geography "Teacher"

Geography and I have never been the best of friends. In fact, I remember ranking it alongside chemistry as the two subjects I liked the least. This, coming from someone whose love affair with Maths was none too hot either...

To give you an example of how poor I was in the subject, at age eight, I honestly believed that Beirut was the capital of Greece and if you don't believe me, ask my parents.

You can therefore imagine my absolute 'glee' when I was asked to cover the Year 8 geography lesson during period 4. I went into the room and was confronted by about twenty five bored students.

The teacher had left no cover work.

What to do? I started off by asking the kids to name the countries comprising the European Union (I hasten to add that I still don't know whether the answers I put down were correct or not!) and having finished that exercise, and becoming desperate, got them to name the individual capitals.

Fifteen long minutes left. Then, suddenly, it struck me..."get the kids to name the fifty states in the U.S!" Slowly but surely the familiar names came out and I wrote them down, deflecting the continuous San Francisco's, Orlando's or Toronto's (they weren't too up on geography either)with a mournful "it's a city not a state" response, until we had got our fifty up there, in blue ink on the white board.

The bell rang and I made a silent prayer thanking the good Lord for allowing me to teach I.T. instead of geography.

Twenty years later and I still hate the subject.


buddha_girl said...

Ha!!! I have to laugh.

I loathe having to cover classes about which I know little only to find that the teacher left NOTHING for me.

Luckily, in my school, I've earned the respect and support of my principal. I'll give up my planning period to cover classes, however, the kids will come to MY room...and will do whatever keeps them relatively quiet and amused. That's it.

The Teacher said...

Getting the kids to come to my room? What a novel approach! Somehow, I don't think I could get away with that in my school.

Tense Teacher said...

I have a folder full of crosswords and word search puzzles for situations such as those. I also save suckers which the cheerleaders hand out on football game days, and use those as prizes for the student who gets the most answers correct on said puzzles.

The Y.M. said...

Ha ha ha, that was a good Blog... Well isn't Beyrut the capital of Greece? It does bring back "special" memories.....
You seemed to have managed very well. Bravo. The Y.M.

Arty4ever said...

I have created a new study aid packaged as a deck of 50 flash cards with whimsical illustrations that help you memorize the states and capital.

I'm trying to make learning more fun, especially for right brained learners like me.

(Thanks for letting me shamelessly promote this.)